Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Research proposal accepted

Three weeks ago, I wrote about submitting research proposal for my doctorate. As I then wrote, the proposal will be given to two members of the research committee who will read it thoroughly and present it at the next research committee meeting. I spent the latter half of last week in anticipation of their decision; on Friday afternoon I was informed that my research proposal had been accepted . To quote my mentor: Fortunately, unlike many other DBA students, you do not have to resubmit the proposal for the next meeting on 23 September. However, you will need to address some specific points and respond to them in writing.  Yesterday I received the detailed review of the research proposal (completed by the two readers) and it makes very interesting reading.

One reader seems very much "on my side"; whilst he has criticisms, he generally accepts what I have proposed. His concluding remarks are In my opinion, this is a viable area of research and the student has considered it in great detail before writing the research proposal. After this statement, he then mentions that he had met me and that we had discussing research ideas - this gave the game away as I realised then who this reader was (a guest lecturer who came to the MBA course).

The other reader had different criticisms, the most important being If one accepts the topic the candidate has selected as being valid then a coherent argument for the research is made. However I do not think the candidate makes a convincing case. I cannot see that the topic, even if it were valid in principle, has the degree of business or management relevance expected in a DBA. He is also concerned that most of the literature appears to be relatively dated. Many of the key references are 5 years old or more. This seems odd in such a fast changing field.
My task now is to answer these criticisms. The major part will be finding convincing arguments in (preferably) recently published papers which make a case for why using EUC in an ERP environment is a bad idea. I have a strong suspicion that I won't be able to find such papers as I don't think that anyone in academia has addressed this problem. I referenced articles explaining this position but these are opinion pieces and not papers published in peer reviewed journals.

I will have to look for papers with completely different search parameters in order to find suitable material. I will also write to the consultant whose blog crystalised the research topic for me. I mentioned a few months ago a seminar which was to take place in Delft and wrote that there is a paper being presented which is very close to my area. I have been in contact with the person who gave this paper but he hasn't sent me a copy. He suggested a few weeks ago that I telephone him - maybe I'll do that this evening.

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